What's Next For Accounting? - Issue #124

✅ Build Your Own AI Agent in < 5 Minutes

2024 will be the year of the AI agent. Autonomous bots that complete tasks for you in the background.

It’s the biggest thing OpenAI will launch this year, will change the way we work, and might break the current software ecosystem as discussed on the pod last week.

Here’s an agent-builder you can get your hands on today, fetching last month’s cash basis balance sheet and P&L for me (4x speed):

It’s by a company called Hyperwrite who is leading the charge on agent development, and just launched a custom agent builder.

It’s super easy to use, basically like recording a Scribe, but you’re creating steps for an AI agent to complete.

It uses an LLM for reasoning, so you can build flexible logic into it:

  • “Use last month’s month end date”

  • “Try and do abc, you might have to xyz”

  • “Note the amount on the office expense line”

  • “Use that office expense amount we got previously”

Limitations for now:

  • Relatively costly - 10-20 cents to do the above

  • It can’t loop yet - for example if I wanted to do this on every client file

  • Slow - 3-4 minutes to run the BS and P&L, but this is less of a big deal since it opens a Chrome work and works in the background

  • All things that are getting exponentially better each month 🙃

  • As we continue to get LLMs with better reasoning abilities, look for agents to be capable of independently performing all sorts of tasks

💰 Specialization Of The Week

Private Aviation Charter Services
Small to medium operators, annual revenues $5M to $50M
Key Pain Point: Aircraft depreciation and charter service revenue management.

Here’s how to build this one from scratch:

  • Post Sponsorships Search "how to start a private air charter business" and you get 25+ high quality articles on the subject. Get in touch with the author to find a way to support them, and get a mention in high-ranking articles

  • Influencers These days every little niche has influencers if you look deep enough - Build a list of folks to offer support to. Every platform from Reddit to Quora has a long list of folks asking "how hard is it to launch a private charter service?" Track down the folks providing valuable answers to build your network

  • Events Searching "private air charter conference" I found a bunch of conferences happening in 2024. From an aviation tax conference in Dallas in May, to a networking event for "business aviation professionals" in New York in June. Sponsor a table, get your name on a flyer, you will be the only accounting firm there. Mission accomplished, you're 1 of 1

  • Content There isn't a huge volume of them (which is good), but on every social media platform there are a few videos that have gone deep on running private charter services. Reach out to the poster of each, and offer to help them develop a new video around the finances & compliance struggles of running such a business

📅 This Week

  • If you’re thinking about starting your own accounting firm, watch this

  • Most firms ought to have a newlsetter - here are my tips to make it as easy as possible to put together each week

  • Just launched, Talisman may be the most compelling subscription management app I’ve seen - I’ve long thought this ought to be an essential component of SMB accounting

  • These people made a simple little dashboard that connects to QBO, and are using it to attract folks to their $699/mo bookkeeping offering

  • Email client Superhuman launched instant reply

    • The feature uses AI to write several draft responses to each email you receive in your tone of voice

    • The idea is to never write an email from scratch again

    • In our case it’s only as good as the underlying info it has access to, but practice management systems take note!

  • In 1996 the AICPA engaged George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic to develop a commercial for them that went on to win several awards as part of a “national image campaign” - they’d go on to re-up in 1997 and develop a second commercial

  • The next version of ChatGPT’s data analysis model is rumored to have built-in spreadsheet viewing abilities

  • I shared some ideas for how to capitalize on the uncertainty around changing tax law, and built a reporting template you can swipe

  • A new accounting ledger, Campfire came out of stealth

  • Copilot for Excel is now generally available, and while it isn’t earth-shattering people are coming up with some interesting use-cases

😍 From The Community

My private peer networking community Realize for firm leaders, now capped at 500 members.

▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▯▯▯▯ 391/500 members